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why writers drink

"there's a file on here with a name i don't recognise."

"when the heck did i write this? it's kind of confusing."

"oh wait, i see now. i was playing around with the perspective. kind of clever, if i do say so myself."

"i seriously have no recollection of this getting written at all, although the ideas seem kind of familiar."

"this is actually pretty good. better than a lot of the stuff i can remember writing. whatever i was on at the time, i should take it more often."

"with a little clean-up, i think i could submit this for publication. amazing! it's like i somehow wrote myself a little present that i could find and use later. or my computer can do this on its own, which would be a great trick, but wouldn't really give me the same feeling of self-satisfaction. or the cats have evolved. julia, why are you looking at me like that???"

"hm, i haven't left myself a lot of space to get all these things resolved. i hope i didn't cut it off too abruptly." [that's what she said. -ed.]

"unfinished??? unfinished???? you fictional piece of octopus crap! you led me on! i thought i had something and it turns out that i'd started it, forgotten about it and now have absolutely no bloody idea where i was going with it?!?!!! i will take pleasure in deleting your letters, one by one, so i can watch you die!!!!"

"did i just threaten a word document?"

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as long as you're here, why not read more?

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…